The alarm was so high that, according to one ITN source, ITN scrambled a helicopter to hover over the Prime Minister's route to the Palace to capture the historic footage. ITN last night said it was not on a special job; it was on the way back from Portland and was "taking shots for use in future reports". Colin Brown
The Queen's non-appearance at the Cheltenham Gold Cup yesterday fuelled speculation that the Prime Minister was on his way to Downing Street to seek the dissolution of Parliament for a general election on 1 May. Instead, John Major will put his troops on an election footing in a speech at the Tory Party Central Council in Bath tomorrow but is not expected to announce the date until next week.